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hyeyun_an

Has anyone built Blair Valley by Frank Betz?

Hyeyun An
last month
last modified: last month

Hello,

We’ve decided to build a house with Blair Valley plan by Frank Betz. But I couldn’t find completed house pictures anywhere(except this attached photo from its website), so I am wondering if I could hear any advice/ideas on the plan from someone who has built/is building the same one.

We are a family of 4, two little kids and two grown ups, and our lot size is about 1 acre and a half in a wooded area in OK.


Comments (10)

  • bpath
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Blair Valley link to make it easier for folks to comment.

    And just a comment. This weekend I went to an event at a house on the market. It was built on a wooded site, and it is so clear that the design, including placement on the site, window sizes and placements (the views), approach to the house from the street, layout, and materials, were all done with consideration to each other and to the owners’ needs and wants, by the architect. Unique, livable, and wonderful. Just something to consider,

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Do not try to fix someone else's dream to make it yours.

    Hyeyun An thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • cpartist
    last month

    There's a huge lack of storage in that house. For example, the coat closet in the mudroom is barely large enough for 3-4 coats. Where will linens be stored? What about brooms, mops, etc? What about kids sports equipment?

    The best houses orient the public rooms towards the south for the best passive solar heating and cooling

    The best houses are L, U, T, H, or I shaped.

    The best houses are only one to two rooms deep. And covered lanai, porches, garages, etc count as rooms in this case.

    The best houses make sure all public rooms and bedrooms have windows on at least two walls.

    The best houses do not if possible put mechanical rooms, pantries or closets on outside walls and especially not on the front corner of the house.

    The best houses keep public and private spaces separate.

    The best houses do not put toilets or toilet rooms up against bedroom walls or dining areas.

    The best houses do not have walk in closets too small to stand inside.

    The best houses have an organizing “spine” so it’s easy to determine how to get from room to room in the house and what makes sense.

    So how many of these best practices does this house have?


  • Hyeyun An
    Original Author
    last month

    These are some generic cut and paste comments, that i could put under any houzz desscusion board. I am looking for good idea fairies, and not catching any here. If we are going with letter layout, with not try X, Y, or Z?!.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    But you are asking about building a cut and paste house?

  • PRO
    PPF.
    last month

    if I could hear any advice/ideas on the plan from someone who has built/is building the same one.


    What sort of advice/ideas are you looking for?


    If you want an idea of a completed house, you might hire someone to create a 3D computer model.

  • bpath
    last month
    last modified: last month

    A few observations, if you are truly taken with this plan.

    There is no front closet. There’s weather in OK; your visitors will need a place to hang coats (and you’ll need a place for your out of season wear).

    Will you use the guest room as a guest room? or more of a den/study? If a guest room, I’m not sure I’d want the primary bath toilet right on that wall. And, if it’s a guest room, then the powder room rather intrudes on a private wing, with your bedroom right there, too. Regardless, I think it would be nice to add a shower to that powder room, eliminate the ensuite, and extend the front porch in its place.

    I would add a door to the laundry room, with a nice covered stoop, so that you have a ”kids’ entrance”. With the driveway and garage right there, friends will be getting dropped off there, so you may as well give them an entry. I’d remove the door to the laundry, and instead have a pocket door from the mudroom to the kitchen.

    I imagine that one day, you will want to enclose the back porch and turn it into a sitting room. Even now, with small children, it would be a nice space for them, and for adults sitting and chatting.

    Upstairs, why aren’t both bathrooms ensuites? In the bonus room, how high is that head-bonking corner roof at the door?

  • cpartist
    last month

    My "generic" comments are still comments that relate to the house you want to build. I removed any that don't relate to this house.

    Additionally I added a few comments that are specific to this house, like the lack of storage. But hey, if you're so enamoured with this house, I say go for it.

  • cpartist
    last month

    And your comment about letters X, Y and Z show you really do not have a good concept of what it takes to build a well designed house.

    The letters mentioned in my post allow for the house to have rooms 1-2 rooms deep and no more.

    It allows for windows on 2 walls in all public rooms and bedrooms for better cross ventilation.

    It also allows for better flow throughout so it's easy to determine where you are and where you need to go to get to a different room or part of the house.

    Doing the letters mentioned means you won't need an overblown roof trying to cover a house that's 4 rooms deep.

  • PRO
    Magnifico Profounde
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Lots of roof issues and leaks in your future if you build that. Upgrade to adding a lot more ice and water shield than your builder will want to budget to do. Or pay more later, with the water damage. It’s SO typical of a Betz house. They are pretty makep on just the face. Then they ignore the rest of the sides, and short you on things that make for comfortable and trouble free living.